Q.I.D. is a series that focuses on the education of queer identity, and serves as a resource for those who are questioning their identity.
Queerplatonic can be a difficult identity to discuss if you don’t identify as that yourself, especially when it comes down to figuring out the differences between platonic, queerplatonic, and romantic relationships. Because of this, I decided to interview Jackson and E, two people who are both in a queerplatonic relationship together.
First of all, how do you identify?
J: As a big list of things. Genderqueer, queerplatonic, ace, etc.
E: Bigender, ace as hell, polyromantic, genderqueer
For those who may not know, what does queerplatonic mean?
J: Queerplatonic is a type of relationship that is like dating, but not dating. It is closer than friendship, but not romantic. It can be monogamous or poly.
So both of you are in a queerplatonic relationship. What does that mean and how is that different from regular dating?
J: So first of all, we don’t kiss each other.
E: We don’t go on “dates”; we’re free to find romantic interests if we choose to. There’s no romance.
J: Yeah. It’s like being really, really, really close friends. In queerplatonic relationships, sometimes the boundaries are different. Like somebody who’s just friends with someone else, their boundaries are not holding hands, hugging, or sharing a bed. Sometimes, for queerplatonic relationships, even if their platonic boundaries are like that, there will be different boundaries with their zucchini. You’re generally closer, be it physically or emotionally.
You mentioned the term zucchini. Could you explain that a bit more?
E: Zucchini is an easier way to say queerplatonic partner or QPR. Honestly, though, zucchini is cuter.
J: Yeah. And the term zucchini was “invented” because queerplatonic partners got tired of saying that. So they made that up as a joke and it stayed.
Time for the lighting round of misconceptions. Ready?
Isn’t that just a close friendship with your best friend?
E: My close friends will go out and hang out and stuff, but it’s different because with Jackson, my zucchini, I can talk about things like religion and things that I would never talk about with other friends.
J: Personally, I find it hard to say, “I love you,” to anybody, even family members. But I tell E I love them every single day.
Why do you guys have to make everything queer?
J: Because I’m queer?
E: Um, straight people can have these too. They just don’t, so…
J: Technically, it doesn’t have to be queer. You could use quasiplatonic.
If I do these things that are associated with queerplatonic relationships, does that make me gay?
J & E: No.
J: It’s not romantic nor sexual so it doesn’t have anything to do with those identities.
E: Listen to Jackson. (They both start laughing.)
Isn’t that just the same thing as friends with benefits?
E & J: No!
E: Friends with benefits implies that there is making out or sex involved, and seeing that this is not a sexual relationship, none of that is involved.
J: Especially since we’re both ace.
E: Yeah, no. Sorry! (They both start laughing.)
As we can see, queerplatonic is the grey area between platonic and romantic relationships. It exists in that area where boundaries intersect a bit. If you’re interested in exploring this further, I would start with the Aromantics Wiki post on Queerplatonic Relationships.